China COVID-19 toll 2,744 outbreak may be ‘under control’ by April

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BeijingL  As the overall coronavirus toll in China increased to 2,744 with 78,497 confirmed cases, a Chinese health expert on Thursday said that the coronavirus outbreak would be “basically under control” in the country by the end of April.

“Although there was a large outbreak in Wuhan (epidemic’s epicentre), we did not see massive outbreaks in other cities,” the South China Morning Post newspaper quoted Zhong Nanshan, China’s top respiratory disease expert, as saying.

“We predicted earlier that the peak should take place in mid or late February, due to the strong intervention by the state and the cancellation of travel peaks after Chinese New Year Holiday.

“It turned out the number of cases began to drop after February 15. Our forecast was similar to some other foreign authoritative experts, and we are confident that the epidemic would be basically under control in April,” the expert added.

On Thursday, China’s National Health Commission said that it received reports of 433 new confirmed cases and 29 deaths on Wednesday from 31 provincial-level regions on the mainland.

Among the deaths, 26 were in Hubei province, and one each in Beijing, Heilongjiang and Henan.

The Commission added that 2,358 people were still suspected of being infected with the virus, while a total of 32,495 have been discharged from hospital after recovery.

As of Thursday morning, the number of confirmed cases outside China were reported in South Korea (1,595), Japan (894, including 705 on Diamond Princess), Italy (447), Iram (139), Singapore (93), Hong Kong (91), the US (60), Thailand (40), Bahrain (33), Taiwan (31), Australia (23), Malaysia (22), Germany (24), France (18), Kuwait (18), Vietnam (16), the UK (13), the UAE (13), Canada (12), Spain (12), Macau (10), Iraq (five), Croatia (three), India (three), the Philippines (three), Oman (two), Finland (two), Russia (two), Pakistan (two), Afghanistan (one), Israel (two), Austria (two), Georgia (one), Algeria (one), Romania (one), Brazil (one), Switzerland (one), North Macedonia (one), Norway (one), Egypt (one), Lebanon (one), Cambodia (one), Nepal (one), Sri Lanka (one), Sweden (one) and Belgium (one).

The deaths outside China were recorded in Iran (19), South Korea (13), Italy (12), Japan (seven), Hong Kong (two), France (one), Taiwan (one) and the Philippines (one).

(Agencies)